St. Augustine is old. But how old? The city was founded in September of 1565, beating many other classic American towns and cities by over a century.
St. Augustine has earned the nickname of the “Ancient City,” and it shows in the architecture and design of the intricate buildings and the classic cobblestone streets. Perhaps the most exemplary illustration of this authentic history is in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the city’s oldest Catholic Church. It was here at “ground zero,” upon the creation of the town. The structure began development in 1565, seemingly within hours of St. Augustine’s formal founding.
History for the Cathedral Basilica has never been easy. It underwent centuries of human-caused destruction, natural erosion, damage from the seas, and more. Whether you’re enjoying a vacation getaway at beachfront rentals on St. Augustine or staying in the nearby city of Jacksonville, the Cathedral Basilica is worth a visit.
Construction & Design
The cathedral is wonderfully at home within the influential Spanish architecture and décor. The church is rooted in St. Augustine’s Spanish style and neoclassical ambiance. The walls inside represent the pinnacle of a neoclassical revolution important during the era, but the exteriors, especially the clay roof tiles and the curving bell gables, openly embrace the beauty of Spanish design. The interior is famous for its glowing murals, as well as religious materials. These range from rosaries, bibles, prayer books, and candles which are available all along the church’s shelves and walls.
It is all held up by Florida’s unique architectural element – coquina. Coquina is a natural stone made from small seashells broken down into small pieces over time. If you look close enough at coquina, you will find marine debris and pieces of shell embedded, hardened together to form a stable structure.
Henry Flagler was pivotal for the development of St. Augustine. He brought his millions to support local growth, bringing wealthy friends and financiers to the city streets. He turned his attention to the Cathedral Basilica in the late 19th century. He helped fund a major reconstruction, adopting key preservation techniques to keep it in top form. His efforts to support the cathedral are still felt today. The church is a reigning example of the city’s historical beauty.
You can see the Cathedral Basilica for yourself on your vacation getaway to the ancient city. The formal address is 8 Cathedral Pl., St Augustine, FL. It is at the very southern end of St. Augustine’s downtown along St. George Street. You won’t miss it at the corner of St. George and Cathedral.
Mass is still celebrated Monday through Saturday at 7 a.m. Tours are available daily, but scheduled times change. You can come light a candle for a loved one at any point during tour times. Of course, mass is open to the public. Consider calling the church officials to get connected.
Stop by a block towards the water for an afternoon coffee at Kookaburra or a treat at Le Macaron.
Come Stay With Us
St. Augustine is the place to be for the summer. Reserve your very own vacation condo rental by calling 877-542-2488. Our beachfront rentals on St. Augustine give you an instant connection to what draws people to the magical coasts of St. Augustine every year. Why is St. Augustine such a rewarding and popular place to see? You will have to find out for yourself.